Why I Left NPR
Stephen Henn

When you say digital radio, I hope you mean digital terrestrial. This push needs to be made with digital players that also scroll lots of text — real time text and secondary info. I have long thought that a player needs to be made that can allow me to listen to my good ol’ WNYC, but also show some Twitter comments live, other facts that are dug up after the original air date, other links to other material that can be saved to an offline playlist or guide. In this way, my old NPR becomes the hottest tool out there — leagues above online radio (which is too personalized). It is the information I catch on my car radio that sparks other trajectories I didn’t know I wanted to research or know about, not my standard podcasts that I already know I like. I have tried to get down with NPR One and other apps, but it really comes down to real live radio that can exist from car to home. I know what to listen to on the train or at the gym. It’s the time in the kitchen, stuck in traffic or outside on the stoop where I want real live radio not just content. If you’re doing that, then more power to you. As much as I don’t want another device, I want real radio. Not just to be hip and retro, but because it connects with my innate desire to see the smoke signal not just hear about it later when it’s more convenient.

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